peace of my mind

peace I leave you; my peace I give you… Jn.14:27

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Hallmarks of December


Our little fake tree, dripping with ornaments and lots of crazy color. I love it!


Simple door hanging this year.  Thanks to my boys who keep me supplied with choice sticks.


Peppermint puff “crackers” hidden around the house for an advent treat.


Candy Cane Bath Salts for Mom2Mom. Lots of crafty goodness that day!


Cranberry topiary.  Rubies on toothpicks.


Lots of little sewing projects in the works. Little (and quick) is the operative word this year.  New, pretty needles add to the fun.


Rainbow of glove options.


Keepers girls making candles. We also had a cookie exchange and went caroling to the fire department. What special memories!


Luke reading his great rendition of The Grinch.


Boy Scout Christmas party outfitted with onlooking  little sibs.


Caught a glimpse of these two out of the corner of my eye and had to take a picture. Growing too fast!


Mia making corn husk dolls for Thanksgiving.


Britty playing with them.


Pile on: all except for Piper.

December is a busy and sweet month.  It’s hard to savor it with all of the busy.  Hoping these picts will help me remember some of the simple things we treasure.

Hope to post again before Christmas, but if not:

Merry Christmas!!


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Yes!…to hamburger cupcakes

12:31 days of Yes!

Today was an easy one: Yes! to hamburger cupcakes!

For our quirky (in an awesome way) Gabe who turns 11!!?!! on Sunday. We did crazy crayons one year among other crazy things.  Why not cupcakes that look like burgers?

Very fun to make and just a brownie in the middle. We were short one brownie, so he plans on asking if anyone is a vegan.

Happy treat day to Gabe! Man, how I need a new camera!

31 days of Yes! is me dedicating to post each day for the month of October (which is a Yes! in itself) and to find one meaningful Yes! in each day.  Over 1200 bloggers are participating thanks to the lovely Nesting Place.

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Forcing Spring

Another dreary Saturday in the midwest. Little tastes of spring have come, and some day soon, it will be here to stay…but not today!
Our kids are on spring break this week which means no more packing lunches, checking homework, grading pre-algebra.

Forcing bulbs

It may include a little sleeping in, sewing-I hope! and the most fun of all is that daddy will be able to enjoy some of it with us since Easter comes after tax day this year. Praising God for these good things!

Egg sticks

We worked on some “crack me” eggs by Not Martha which was also featured in this month’s issue of Family Fun. The color of these alone has brightened us all a little today.


That and the little ones were enjoying decorating Hot Rocks with crayons.  If we weren’t short on found rocks today, I would have liked that one too.


We have made yogurt successfully in the past thanks to the help of my mom’s yogurt maker. There are many fascinating ways to cure it…heating pads, pilot lights and boiling water in coolers. We tried the latter method a few weeks ago, but had awful results. Pretty sure it had to do with the temps at which we warmed the milk.


While placing a book order recently, the Homestead Blessings DVD series was on sale. The West Ladies youtube promos are so enjoyable, they are sure to be good resources to have on hand. Their family lives “off the grid” and they show sweetly and competently how to grow in homesteading skills-which I confess I am completely drawn to! Their Dairy Delights DVD was most appealing, so I did get that. The rest, I requested from our library.  After implementing a bit of their advice today,  we’ll see if the yogurt yields better results.

Another homesteading resource a friend has shared is the magazine Mary Jane’s Farm.   I’ve read the copies she passed along cover to cover.  While I don’t plan to don a cowgirl hat anytime soon, the idea of using the space you have-whatever that space may be, to be productive and sustaining to you and your family is both inspiring and useful.  I have found the practice of maximizing what you have, to also hold many lessons in godly contentment!

I have another post brewing along these lines.  But for today, we are forcing spring in-doors while we know it’s bound to come any day on the out.

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Quick sewing projects


There is a personal payoff to making things.  Foremostly I make to give from my heart.  But a close second is the payoff I receive personally.   It is a stress-buster and very gratifying to have done something tangible at the end of the day. I feel  recharged when I have time to create things.  Yet it’s literally been months since I’ve sat down at my machine, and it’s hard to imagine a time in the near future when I will get that chance.  These little projects were quickies I made months ago but I thought I would still share them.

The wine bag was a thank you for some dear friends who watched our crew so Kevin and I could grab a date night.  It’s just a simple, lined bag with boxed corners on the bottom and a tie at the top.  I love it because of the Anna Maria fabrics, of course.


These little fabric eggs were a Sunday afternoon project Amelia and I did together. They were quick to sew and she had alot of fun picking out fabrics to put together.  I used shredded news print to stuff the basket on my front door. They were a cheerful welcome to spring.



Ahh, milk crates.  They help us keep shoes, baseball mitts, drawing paper, and now, the van organized.  I used this smart pattern to pretty up the milk crate in the van and hope to make a few more.  If you click the link, the pattern is on the sidebar.

DSCN1286DSCN1284PS: for families on the run, a simple solution to thirsty kids is to keep a jug of water and plastic cups on hand. We don’t usually travel without one. It saves money at the drive-thru and also saves tears in a thirsty pinch. A word of caution though, you may want to put a potty chair in the back with it.

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One-Room School House

Ty’s 3rd grade field trip this spring was to the nearby One-room school house. The students were instructed to dress as much in period as possible. Their lunch was to include things that kids during the period would have actually eaten. So no cool ranch Doritos, but rather turkey and biscuits, a long carrot and an apple were on the menu.DSCN1476Ty helped me with the details. I made a pair of suspenders for his church khakis, a lunch bag and he wore an old lackie cap which my grandparents bought me in 7th grade…always have had a thing for hats. Tennis shoes aside, I think he looked pretty 19th century and think he had a fun time doing so.

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Crystal Ice

It worked

We love a snow day around our house.  But I try to tuck away a few “calamity day” crafts for if and when the hours grow long.  One we did last month was crystal snow flakes as found on The Crafty Crow. This one kept the kids engaged for days as they checked their progress with great interest.  Not to mention they are so pretty too.

Growing Crystals